/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": An Epoch of Instrumental Excellence – M. S. Gopalakrishnan (1931-2013)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

An Epoch of Instrumental Excellence – M. S. Gopalakrishnan (1931-2013)

This morning began with the sad news of the passing away of Padma Bhushan, Sangeetha Kalanidhi, Parur M.S. Gopalakrishnan. MSG, as he was known worldwide, had been the subject of many articles recently during the Margazhi season. People had been writing about how he was an exemplar in many ways:

1. Mastery of the violin as an instrument.

2. A long career right at the top in Carnatic music.

3. An epoch-maker in the Parur or MSG Bani, perhaps the most copied instrumental technique among aspiring Carnatic violinists from all over.

4. An astonishing mastery of the Hindustani musical idiom, which won him the utmost respect among North Indian connoisseurs.

5. An ideal accompanist who made many concerts memorable with many great vocalists and other instrumentalists.

So when the news trickled this morning, we were not surprised that rasikas world over started writing in various forums and email groups expressing a sense of great loss to the world of Carnatic music and offering condolences. In fact, the number of people who expressed genuine sorrow and shared so many reminiscences showed how MSG stood for a lofty ideal in the minds of many.

MSG, or Parur as Mr. K. Srikantiah fondly refers to him, has come and played in Parvathi a number of times over 5 decades. Mr. Srikantiah has only positive memories of the man. He conveyed these words:

“MSG the violinist had a unique style of play. His instrumental mastery and sweetness of play is legendary. He has accompanied many great vocalists and instrumentalists in Parvathi. He came across as a man of few words, who had no time for idle gossip. He was very disciplined. He always did his best in every concert. Many rasikas have long remembered the concerts he played at Parvathi, both during Ganesha and Ramanavami festivals. His sruthi perfection was a sheet anchor for the main musician. His passing away is a genuine loss to the Carnatic world. May his soul rest in peace.”

The best tribute we can pay MSG is to share some of the wonderful pieces of his accompaniment in the various Parvathi concerts uploaded here. These are only excerpts. The full concerts can be accessed via the index.


01. N. Ramani - Gajavadana – Sriranjani ***02. M. Balamuralikrishna – Nagumomu – Abheri *** 03. S. Kalyanaraman – Kambhoji RTP*** 04. Madurai Somasundaram – Ragamalika Shloka *** 05. Emani Sankara Sastri – Jnanamosagarada – Purvikalyani ***

Today, in Sangeethapriya.org, they featured this tribute, inspiring us to say these words:

Today, the string that sang snapped.
There is a silence like never before.
Music that stirred our guts stopped.
The one and only MSG is no more.